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Monday, April 20, 2015

Magnificent Heartbreak

Wherever humans garden magnificently,
there are magnificent heartbreaks.
 Henry Mitchell

Forgive me, Henry, but I'd like to make a substitution...

Wherever humans live magnificently,
there are magnificent heartbreaks.
Arlene Tencza

We attended a wedding this past weekend...the glorious culmination of many years of waiting and praying and dreaming on the part of two people.

As I sat there watching them come together for their first dance, arms wrapped around one another, eyes dripping love and adoration, a song popped into my mind...


And hot tears began to flood my eyes.

My son noticed, and asked gently, "Mom, are you sad?"

Yes, yes I was.

Because I had just finished remarking to someone I hadn't seen in years, how tragic it is that it takes weddings and funerals to get us together.

And because I have learned that life is full of snapshots...fleeting moments like these...

That we need to pay attention to, or they are forever lost.

Gifts we need to embrace and hold on to...

To give us the strength to get through the storms that will inevitably come.

And ultimately, the day we will hear the news that stops our hearts and puts a period on the life of someone we love.

Yesterday I walked into church and shared with my Priest what a great plant sale he had missed that Friday, but how I was sure having a day with his grand-babies more than made up for it.

"I never knew it could be so wonderful!" was his ecstatic reply.

"Yes, and with great love comes great pain," said I, as he knowingly nodded his head.

You see, right before church, I had heard of a tragedy to the EMS community, of which my daughter and many of her friends is a part...


A loss that will take a lifetime to walk through...

With unanswered questions that will take an eternity to heal.

Now I've been trained as a Chaplain...studied Biblical worldview and the hope it affords...

But every time I hear the anguish in those left behind, I stagger.

I can offer words and prayers, and in the case of one dear one, burnt peanut butter cookies...

But I can't heal a broken heart.

Only God can.

When we got home from church, we received news that Ted's uncle in CT had just died...a man who had been influential in Ted's growing up years...whose son was Ted's best friend...

And it felt like another rip in the fabric of life.

Later in the day, Ted talked with one of his brothers who, due to fighting in the Vietnam War, suffers from PTSD...

And he learned of his recent treatment and release from rehab...

And how hard it is for him to carry on...day after day after day...

And his son's wedding is just weeks away.

Lord willing, we will be there...and tears will rise up again.

Magnificent heartbreak.

A gift.

Because loving well, as long as you can, means it is inevitable.

Last night our son sent me a picture from the wedding, of me holding our granddaughter.

I stared at it for a long time...the blessing of a mother and daughter and granddaughter together.

I scrutinized how big my granddaughter is...how long her legs are...

What a beautiful young lady she is becoming...both inside and out.

Wasn't it just yesterday I cradled her as an infant...adoring her beyond any reason I had ever expected?
Sunrise, sunset
Quickly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears

For those who mourn now, God sees your pain and walks with you through it.

For those who rejoice now, take snapshots...everyday.

Lots.